The key difference between saturated fatty acids and unsaturated fatty acids is that saturated fatty acids contain single bonds of carbon while unsaturated fatty acids contain at least one double bond of carbon.
Both saturated and unsaturated fatty acids are the types of fats which we use routinely. Both have many differences in them. In saturated fatty acids, all bods of the carbon atom are single while in unsaturated fatty acids, there are one or more than one double bonds of a carbon atom.
Saturated fatty acids are not good enough for health. They should not contain more than 10% of total daily calorie intake. Unsaturated fatty acids are recommended to be almost 30% of total daily calorie intake. Unsaturated fatty acids leave a good impact on health.
Excess of saturated fats intake causes the atherosclerosis formation leading to heart disease while unsaturated fats are high in antioxidants and have a good impact on health if taken within the recommended limit. Saturated fatty acids decrease the amount of HDL which is good cholesterol and increase the amount of LDL which is bad cholesterol. Unsaturated fatty acids, in contrast, increase the amount of HDL (good cholesterol) and decrease the amount of LDL (bad cholesterol) and thus they are good for the health of the cardiovascular system.
Sources of LDL and VLDL (bad cholesterol) are white sugar, refined carbohydrates, white flour, butter, coconut oil, peanut, and whole milk. While the sources of HDL (good cholesterol) are fiber-rich grain, flax oil, fish oil, soybean oil, canola oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, and red meats. melting points of saturated fats are high, but those of unsaturated fatty acids are low. Saturated fats do not spoil early while unsaturated fats spoil early.
Saturated fatty acids are found in the solid state at the room temperature usually while the consistency of unsaturated fats is liquid at room temperature. Saturated fats are obtained from animals while unsaturated fats are obtained from plants. Examples of saturated fats are butter, ghee, processed meats, etc. While those of unsaturated fats are olive oil, fish oil, all plants source oils, and linoleic acid.
|Basis||Saturated fatty acids||Unsaturated fatty acids|
|Definition||They are defined as the types of fatty acids in which all the bonds of carbon are single||It is defined as the types of fatty acids in which at least one double bond of carbon atom is present.|
|Effects on cholesterol level||They enhance the amount of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and decrease the amount of high-density lipoprotein (HDL). LDL is bad cholesterol while HDL is good cholesterol. They are not so good for health.||They decrease the amount of bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase the amount of good cholesterol (HDL). Thus they are good for health if used within the recommended limit.|
|Dietary limit||They should not be consumed beyond 10% of daily calorie intake.||They can be used up to 30% of daily calorie intake.|
|Effects on health||They cause the atherosclerosis formation in the blood vessels which lead to cardiac diseases.||They have antioxidants in them and leave a good impact on health.|
|Source||They are obtained from animal sources.||They are obtained from plant sources.|
|Rancidity||Their rancidity is low.||They have high rancidity.|
|Found in||They are found in butter, whole milk, more refined carbs, peanuts, fried foods, white flour, and white sugar.||They are found in soybean oil, canola oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, fish oil, flax, and red meat.|
|Consistency at room temperature||They are solid at room temperature||They are liquid at room temperature|
|Spoiled when?||They are not spoiled early.||They are spoiled early.|
|Examples||Butter, processed meats, ghee, etc.||Olive oil, all plant source oils, linoleic acid etc.|
What are Saturated Fatty Acids?
Saturated fats are those fatty acids in which carbon atoms have no double or triple bonds. All the bonds of the carbon atom are single. Unsaturated fatty acids have long chains of carbon atoms which do not have branches. The major source of saturated fatty acids in animals. They are solid at room temperature. They are not so good for health. If used in excess, they cause the formation of atherosclerosis in the blood vessels which promote heart diseases. Saturated fatty acids increase the number of low-density lipoproteins in the blood which is bad cholesterol. On the other hand, they reduce the number of high-density lipoproteins which are called good cholesterol. Due to this reason, it is suggested that saturated fats should not be taken beyond 10% of the total daily dietary intake . They are found in butter, ghee, whole milk, white sugar, refined carbs, and other animal source oils. They have a long life and low rancidity.
What are UnSaturated Fatty Acids?
Unsaturated fatty acids are the types of fatty acids in which at least one double bond of carbon atom is present. They are classified into two types, i.e., monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Monounsaturated fatty acids have one double bond of carbon atom while polyunsaturated fatty acids have more than one double bonds of carbon atoms. Unsaturated fats are obtained mainly from plant sources, and they have a shorter life. They are liquid at room temperature. Usually, they have high rancidity. Unsaturated fatty acids are good for health. They can be used up to 30% of total daily calorie intake. The increase in the amount of good cholesterol in the body and reduce the amount of bad cholesterol. Thus they are good for CVS. They are found in olive oil, fish oil, soybean oil, canola oil and all the other oils of plants sources.
Key Differences between Saturated Fatty Acids and Unsaturated Fatty Acids
- Saturated fatty acids have all the single bonds of carbon atom while unsaturated fatty acids have at least one double bond of a carbon
- Saturated fatty acids are obtained from animal sources while unsaturated fats are obtained from plants sources.
- The consistency of saturated fats is solid at room temperature while unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature.
- Saturated fats are not so good for health while unsaturated fats are good for health.
- Saturated fats have low rancidity while unsaturated fats have high rancidity.
Saturated fatty acids and unsaturated fatty acids are the types of fats. Biology students must know the differences between both of them. In the above article, we learned the clear differences between both types of fatty acids.